Clostridium perfringens is widely recognised as a reliable water pollution indicator. Since several media can be employed for the membrane filtration enumeration of this microorganism, the main aim of this work was to investigate the ability of fluorocult-supplemented TSC-agar (Merck) for recovering Cl. perfringens from public springs used for direct human consumption. Cl. perfringens recovery was also performed on mCP agar (Cultimed) according to Directive 98/83 as well as on TSC-Agar (Merck), TSN-Agar (Merck) and SPS-Agar (BBL) media. Variance analysis of data obtained showed no statistically significant differences in the counts obtained among all media employed in this work. However, the Cl. perfringens recovery efficiencies with TSC and fluorogenic TSC agars were significantly greater (P = < 0.05) than the corresponding values of mCP and TSN media. On the other hand, the identification of typical and atypical colonies isolated from all media demonstrated that fluorogenic TSC agar was the most specific medium for Cl. perfringens recovery in groundwater samples (85.3% of typical colonies and 82.8% of atypical colonies confirmed). In summary, the membrane filtration technique with fluorogenic TSC agar showed the best performance characteristics of all the media tested as judged by their recovery efficiency and specificity in these water samples.

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